Syria Rebels Rule Out Peace Talks Unless West Gives Them Weapons

Gen. Idriss Apparently Unclear on the Whole 'Peace Talks' Thing

The leader of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the de facto mouthpiece for much of the Western-backed portion of the Syrian rebellion, Gen. Salem Idriss has come out in no uncertain terms as ruling out participation in the Geneva peace talks, unless Western nations first agree to give him large additional shipments of weaponry.

The talks, which the US and Russia initially agreed to hold in June, still haven’t been scheduled, though officials now say June is almost certainly not going to happen since there are no rebel participants yet.

The absurdity of delaying peace talks and conditioning them on more weapons of war appears lost on Idriss, who insisted that there was no point in the rebels taking part unless they had a huge advantage in weaponry because otherwise they would be negotiating from a position of weakness.

It is policy decisions like this that have left the US increasingly frustrated with the rebels they’ve chosen to back, groups that seem to just be aimlessly going through the motions of an endless civil war on the assumption that sooner or later they’re going to get a ridiculous amount of weapons or an overt NATO invasion that will sweep them into power.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.